Things To Do in Cathedral PeakDidima Camp to Elands Cave Hike
Where? Start and finish at Didima Camp, Cathedral Peak, Drakensberg.
When? Booking is required.
How? Call KZN Wildlife on +27 (0)33 845-1000
How much? Price on request
Start: Didima Camp, Cathedral Peak
Finish: Didima Camp
Duration: roughly 7 hour round trip (but tag on extra because the art work is exceptional)
Our tip: the highlight of, and the reason for, this hike is the incredible rock art available in the Elands Cave
Didima Camp lies in the northern reaches of Giant's Castle Game Reserve, just east of Cathedral Peak hotel. To reach Elands Cave, one of the most famous rock art sites on the continent, is a demanding three hour hike along a largely indiscernible path.
The trail to the cave is not easy. Much of the path is overgrown with grasses taller than men at times. Sometimes the same route is used by Basotho smugglers intent on bringing dagga into South Africa.
This is a guided hike and you must, by law, book a guide from Didima trained to take groups from the camp up to the cave. You will also need to contact AMAFA for permission to enter the cave. They control access to the rock art sites in the 'berg – understandable given how fragile, and how easily vandalised, the art is .
The trail begins along a jeep track up the right of the Didima Valley for roughly four kilometres. A crossing of the eMhlawazini River takes one to a trail on the left of the bank for roughly another three kilometres, after which you cross the river again and head up the hillside.
This becomes very steep as the sandstone cliffs come into view. The path skirts the cliffs and heads onto the plateau, affording excellent views of mountains in the area and the valley floor. Continue through grassland until you reach the right sandstone overhang, after which you descend steeply down to the cave.
On the way back, if there is time, you can also stop at Poacher's Cave.
Start early as the day is long.